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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

As Kim and Kanye West watched the flames of the Woolsey Fire heading inextricably toward their doorstep, the couple decided to use their personal resources to hire a team of private firefighters to combat the fire and save their home, and ultimately those of their neighbors. As the West’s neighbors lauded the couple for bankrolling the effort, societies’ malcontents were quick to announce their efforts were selfish and not enough.

“They did it for themselves! The other homes had to be attended to in case they could [affect] the West’s. Stop trying to make them look good! It’s nice that these others did get their homes saved, but it wasn’t done purposely by them!” another commenter named “Dawn” railed.

Kim and Kanye saved their neighbors’ homes

The idea that the Wests were only saving themselves and contributed nothing to help others fight the devastating fires is completely wrongheaded considering they are in the top tax bracket both at the state and federal level. This means more than half of their income — 13.3% to California and another 37% to the feds, respectively — goes into state and federal coffers. Those taxes go directly into paying for things like firefighters and equipment at the local level and relief efforts, like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) at the federal level.

In other words, the Wests have already helped their fellow Californians via the social contract that we all are supposed to abide by as members of society.

At least some still understand the lessons of The Enlightenment’s Adam Smith, as one TMZ commenter said,

“Now seems like a good time to bring up the Free Market! Rely on the govt. if you want, or take some action. How much do we pay for fire protection? I love my first responders, but who can say whether it’s a good bargain? The Free Market can. Open up to competition. And don’t say “Oh, they won’t know what they’re doing and they’ll just get in the way,” because it would be the same people, well trained, experienced, profit seeking, motivated. My cousin lost his home. Time to re-evaluate.”

Indeed.

That the Wests chose to bring in firefighters rather than rely on the already overwhelmed fire departments to save their $60 million dollar home and those of their neighbors isn’t something they had to do, but it’s exactly what we should want them to do.

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